By  on February 5, 2007

Executives at Roger Vivier have a clear vision of what constitutes luxury.

They define that oft-used term as exquisite, unique and well-made products delivered with white-glove service in a decadent environment. With its first U.S. store slated to open Saturday at 750 Madison Avenue in New York, the fervently French accessories firm is intent on showing the competition just how it's done.

In 2002, after four years in limbo following Roger Vivier's death, Diego Della Valle, the Italian founder of Tod's, Hogan and Fay, acquired the brand name and tapped French footwear designer Bruno Frisoni — who has a namesake accessories line — to be the brand's creative director. Former Karl Lagerfeld muse and Chanel model Ines de la Fressange was called in to be brand ambassador.

Della Valle has an affinity for plucking talent for his brands and for reviving storied houses. In November, he appointed Derek Lam creative director of Tod's to oversee the brand's ready-to-wear, bags and shoes. Della Valle also owns the rights to Elsa Schiaparelli, which sources said he planned to revive soon.

In 2004, Frisoni reintroduced Vivier to the world as not only a footwear company, but also a maison, rife with all accessories categories.

Vivier, the Parisian footwear designer, came to fame through his work at Christian Dior, where he developed the stiletto heel. In 1963, he established an eponymous house in Paris, where a whimsical parade of mod pumps, over-the-knee boots and pilgrim buckle shoes — most memorably worn by Catherine Denueve in 1967's "Belle du Jour" — earned him a reputation as a footwear couturier. He died at age 91 in 1998.

The firm has shops-in-shops in Saks Fifth Avenue's New York flagship and in Neiman Marcus' Los Angeles store. But now the focus is on the 3,000-square-foot, three-story Manhattan outlet in a historic town house.

"We're concentrating all our efforts now on our Madison Avenue store," said Anne Line Hansen, who worked at Giorgio Armani and joined the firm last month as general manager and oversees the firm's retail, wholesale and marketing divisions, in addition to day-to-day operations. "The American market is [ready to] welcome Vivier. Our department stores are trading 60 percent above plan, which is pretty incredible."

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